European Elections Underway, 720 MEPs to Be Elected

Polling stations will open from June 6 to 9, starting with the Netherlands, then Ireland and Slovakia, while most countries will vote on Sunday, June 9

The Netherlands is the first European country to vote in the 2024 European elections. Consultations will take place from June 6 to 9, and the first to complete the voting process will be the Dutch: polling stations will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 6.

The Electoral Act established direct elections to the European Parliament in 1976 (the first elections were held in 1979), and these days European citizens will choose (not everywhere explicitly expressing their preferences) 720 MEPs, 15 more than the previous mandate. Specifically, Germany will contribute 96 MEPs, France – 81, Italy – 76, Spain – 61, followed by Poland – 53, Romania – 33, Netherlands – 31, Belgium – 22, Greece, Czech Republic, Sweden, Portugal, and Hungary – 21, Austria – 20, Bulgaria – 17, Denmark, Finland, and Slovakia – 15, Ireland – 14, Croatia – 12, Lithuania – 11, Slovenia and Latvia – 9, Estonia – 7, Cyprus, Luxembourg, and Malta – 6.

Individual countries organize elections following certain guiding criteria: elections must take place in a period of four days (Thursday to Sunday), the system is proportional, EU citizens residing in another EU country can vote and stand as candidates in elections.

Citizens vote for national parties, which then merge into seven European political factions: European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Renew Europe, Greens/European Free Alliance, European Conservatives and Reformists, Identity and Democracy, and a left-wing group in the European Parliament, the Group of European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL).

As mentioned, voting will take place in the Netherlands on June 6, followed by Ireland on June 7, Czechia on June 7 and 8, then on Saturday, June 8, it will be the turn of Latvia, Malta, and Slovakia, while Italy will keep polling stations open also on Sunday, June 9. This will be the voting day for the rest of the countries.